Mission and Vision
Our Mission and Vision
Our promise is to provide a nurturing, challenging, and authentic learning environment. We will instill within our students a love of learning by identifying their positive distinctions through academics, the arts, and athletics. We empower students to be responsible, contributing members of an international community through service and action.
The Name Change Journey: Moving Toward Learning, Healing, and Harriet Tubman Elementary School
In the summer of 2020, in the wake of our city and country grappling with the dual pandemics of COVID-19 and systemic racism, our school community embarked on a student-driven, equity- centered name-change effort. The former namesake of our school, Louis J. Agassiz, was a 19th century scientist and one of the most prominent proponents of scientific racism. In 2020, our school community examined our values and confronted those racist beliefs. Our school, with support from the CPS Office of Equity and the Chief Equity Officer, worked through a re-naming process that prioritized student voice and the lived experiences of the most impacted students and families in our community. We questioned the racist stances of our former namesake and explored the harmful impact that his beliefs have had on our world.
In each classroom, students led discussions regarding what values and characteristics exemplify and model our beliefs, school principles, and an anti-racist stance. Students researched and submitted nominations for a new namesake, presented those nominations to their fellow students and the Local School Council (LSC), leading to a school-wide and local community vote to identify finalists for our new namesake. In December 2020, after reviewing the submissions and vote tallies, the LSC ranked the three finalists, and selected Harriet Tubman Elementary School as our first choice. In March 2021, the CPS Board of Education voted to rename our school Harriet Tubman Elementary School.
In our work, we continue to move toward learning, healing, and expanding our commitment to anti-racism throughout our school’s policies, practices, instruction, curriculum, and community-building. We are grateful to our brave students and the teachers, staff, caregivers, and community partners who helped on this name-change journey. We are incredibly proud to be Harriet Tubman Elementary School!